Friends of mine have made the comment, “I think we are going to have a very bad year.” To put this simply, a statement like this can not be any more pessimistic. It leaves no room for optimism or encouragement. I think that if this is the way that some want to think… sadly, let them have it. Yet, I don’t think that God wants us to bombard our thoughts with doom and gloom.
God’s Word is always telling us to be at peace because He is in control. Really? Is all we are experiencing…God’s controlling the situation? No, it is people out of control. God goes before those who love him and commit their lives to him…to give control…over emotions, fear, unrest and doubt. It is His desire to give peace. He WILL give PEACE…if we will receive it.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Life is sometimes described as a “race.” We know that a race takes effort. A person running a race doesn’t just get up one morning to run…but there has to be practice, physical health, and determination to win the race…or at least place among those running at the front of the pack. How does this apply spiritually? Here are a few things to consider:
How much do you pray about situations?
How much do you read the Word of God?
How quick are you to make things right when there has been a wrong?
Do you find more pleasure and peace looking at a new, blooming flower than watching the news on TV?
If you truthfully say to those questions,” Not as much as probably I should.” …then you might be in a majority of Christians. Where there is darkness and hate, what is our position suppose to be, regardless of age or station in life? We are to bring a LIGHT to our present time and into the future to counter the darkness.
You are running a race, by the hour, the day and throughout the rest of your life. Is your spiritual muscle weak? Just as the physical body of a hopeful runner must be in shape, it takes discipline. Discipline is not an easy task. Most of us are a bit lazy when it comes to physical exercise…let alone exercise of the spirit. I think you get the point. Your run in life will go through many phases.
Just as we make a plan to run a real race, we must also make a spiritual plan to have a daily quiet time of prayer and meditation…a time to read God’s Holy Word. Our adult son gets up early at his home and runs eight miles regularly. It is a practice in order to meet his challenges, like half marathons. He’d be the first to tell you it takes planning and determination. Who wouldn’t want to roll over and go back to sleep?
What you do daily is seen by many people around you. They are the “great cloud of witnesses” God refers to. It may be your family; people you work with or meet casually out in the world. Your disposition and enthusiasm for God’s provision to us and our nation will speak volumes to those who hear your words. Therefore, pray that you may be a light in the darkness. Carefully weigh your words before you speak them. Bless those verbally who help you with a task, like putting your groceries in the car or handing you a restaurant order. It doesn’t hurt to say, “Have a really blessed day.” They get your meaning.
I love, not only the Scriptures, but also my prayer book, which gives encouragement to me when I feel low or worried. A Christian in this prayer is spoken of as a “Saint” of God. No, not the saints like Mother Teresa or Saint Paul, but the ordinary saint of God who is a believer in Christ as Savior. Did you know, as a believer, you are a “saint” in this context?
“Almighty God, You have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant, ___(your name or someone you know)______________, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him (or her) attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen“
One thing to remember is that you will never be alone in the RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE YOU.
Keep the words of this song in mind, as you sit down to find God’s will in your quiet time. Turn up your sound.